Have you considered the advantages cloud computing offers your promotional business? This simple concept encompasses a lot of powerful tools, services and technology. Companies like Google and Microsoft are using the infinite capabilities of cloud storage to develop powerful computing innovations. But perhaps cloud computing’s greatest power comes from its ability to connect people and build relationships with minimal cost.
First, a primer: The cloud is all around us and most of us access it on a daily basis whether we realize it or not. If you use a smart phone, an online email service or have ever downloaded a song or movie, you have engaged in cloud computing. This term, cloud computing, refers to online services, applications, and storage that connect us by allowing us to communicate, share information, make sales, and stay connected to each other.
Some of the simplest services, such as free email or cloud storage, are offered for free usually with advertising. A provider will host your data (pictures, email documents, etc.) on their servers. Their servers, or more often their network of servers, create “the cloud.” Once you max out their storage or usage limits, the provider starts to offer larger amounts of fee-based storage for your data.
Cloud storage works the same way for businesses. With modern cloud services and web-based software, you can run your entire promotional products business without purchasing expensive hardware or hiring IT personnel. Small businesses no longer need a large capital investment to access the same types of IT services that only large businesses could afford.
Cloud computing is technology that can help us run better, smarter, more efficient businesses. The advantages that it offers to small businesses are vast because they level the playing field.
From Customer Relationship Management to Finance to Sales Management, small businesses now have access to full suites of software to help them manage their businesses. These software programs or applications are often called Software as a Service or SaaS and they run on a subscription-based model.
Remember when you (or your IT person) had to spend hours installing disc after disc of operating system and specialized computer software? Those days are gone. You can pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee and have access to the latest and greatest promotional product distributor software in a few clicks.
By freeing up your time to focus on your business, rather than your infrastructure, perhaps cloud computing’s greatest strength is in finding new ways for your business to work efficiently and serve your customers better. Often, SaaS products integrate with all aspects of your business – from order entry to invoicing. This creates a seamless and professional experience for your customers.
There are more benefits small businesses in the promotional products industry can realize from cloud computing than we’ve discussed so far. Now that you understand the basics of what these services entail, are you wondering how it can help your small business?
View our whitepaper “Your Promotional Business with Cloud Computing” to learn how it can also reduce your costs and make your business more secure.